Not building schools for the future

MILLIONS of pounds worth of redevelopment work for Stevenage schools have been scrapped following a government announcement yesterday.

Education Secretary Michael Gove’s decision to axe the Building Schools for Future (BSF) programme means that the regeneration of six Stevenage secondary schools will not go ahead and a further four are under investigation.

Herts County Council had secured a �200m investment for education from the Labour government but under the Con-Lib coalition building projects at Barnwell, Greenside, John Henry Newman, Stevenage Education Support Centre, Barclay and Valley have been stopped.

Plans for the relocation of Thomas Alleyne School in Great Ashby, Stevenage, has also been halted, pending further investigation.

Building work for three ‘sample’ Stevenage schools - Lonsdale, Marriotts and Nobel – intended to be the first schools in the town to be renovated in early 2011 have also been put up for discussion.

Reacting to the news, Jonathan Block, headteacher at Thomas Alleyne School, said: “I don’t think anyone was that surprised.

“With the current number of children in the town there needs to be more places but that’s an issue for the authorities.

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“We’re quite happy where we are - there still needs to be some work done but we are happy being a small school in the town.

“It has been here for 450 years and I hope it will here for another 450 years.”

Before yesterday’s announcement, the BSF programme agreed for Hertfordshire was set to rebuild, remodel and relocate secondary schools, special schools and education support centres across the county, beginning in Stevenage before further redevelopment elsewhere following after.

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